Mid-Century Modern Remodel
January 16, 2009, 10:22 am
Filed under: Architecture, BUILD LLC, Seattle, Suburban Architecture, Technical Posts


BUILD LLC recently completed the design and remodel of a mid-century modern home in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and has some valuable information to share.   As with many of Seattle’s mid-century residences, this home was overdue for considerable updates.  The “bones” of these structures are typically very solid; the concrete and framing can be surgically retained and, oftentimes, featured for their richness and texture.  Efforts and funds can be directed toward reorganization of the space planning as well as the kitchen, bathrooms, cabinet package, surfaces and systems (heating, plumbing, electrical).

Mid-century modern plan Model (1)

As with any project, a great final outcome can be directly attributed to extraordinary clients.  This family understood the value of their mid-century modern home and put an importance on smarter space rather than more space.  The team was able to maintain the mid-century modern character of the home and, at the same time, fully renovate the home, site and pool for the current era and many years to come.

With several mid-century modern residences in our portfolio, we’ve developed some good strategies for cost-effective remodels and updates to these homes.  The cost of the house remodel was $150 per square foot including hard costs, tax and builder fees.  The technical information can be found below and a photo-montage video of the construction process can be found at the bottom of the post.


1. Existing light well upgraded with new roof and Milgard aluminum windows
2. Galvanized steel channel frame at chimney cap
3. New single-ply roof membrane over new rigid insulation
4. Existing brick stained deep caviar
5. Hardie-panel siding painted pewter
6. Existing brick planter boxes
7. Clear finished fir door with reeded glass panel
8. Milgard aluminum window package
9. Fleetwood aluminum sliding door package
10. Galvanized steel handrail verticals with Feeney Cable-Rail components and ipe top rail
11. Ipe decking and fascia
12. Stained clear cedar slats with vertical cedar posts (code required pool enclosure)
13. Open risers with precast concrete treads by Diamond Concrete Products


14. Raumplus sliding glass doors with laminated glass
15. Original T&G refinished decking, over original roof joists painted deep caviar
16. Original sandstone masonry left untreated
17. Eurotech Lighting ET-2 cylinder pendant lights
18. Custom steel firebox and hearth inserted into original fireplace
19. Original oak floor with new ebonized stain
20. Shoemaker AFP series aluminum floor register
21. Custom dining table with steel frame and anigre top by Special Projects Division
22. Honed Raven Caesarstone countertop and anigre cabinets by Special Projects Division
23. Kohler Ladena undermount porcelain sink with Whitehaus Luxe single hole faucet
24. Stainless steel backsplash
25. Solid core door with Omnia 025 passage lever
26. Fisher Paykel RF201ADUX stainless steel refrigerator
27. Porcher Newson Vitreous China 6’-0” freestanding tub
28. Fisher Paykel OS302 stainless steel wall oven
29. 12” x 18” Porcelain floor tile
30. Gaggenau AH 900-791extension hood
31. Miele KM3484 gas cooktop
32. Anigre custom cabinets with full length stainless steel pulls by Special Projects Division
33. “Floating” anigre shelf with integrated Seagull ‘puck’ lights, satin chrome finish.
34. Custom stainless steel countertop with orbital finish and integral sink, extended to exterior for bbq platform.

Photo-montage construction video

[All photos, images, videos, diagrams and drawings by BUILD llc]


14 Comments so far
Leave a comment

How is the energy efficiency of the aluminum door and window products? We have many aluminum windows that will eventually be replaced and have been leaning towards fiberglass like Pella Impervia to get close to the same look with much better efficiency.

Comment by brian

did you build the cabinetry in house? Nice HB look.

Comment by ts

Brian – The energy efficiency is good for aluminum windows and doors, the U-value is between 0.35 and 0.40 depending on the manufacturer and whether it is a fixed pane, operable pane or door. This U-value met the prescriptive energy code at the time of permit submittal (and for years prior to then). The city of Seattle has recently adopted the 2006 energy code which requires a U-value of .34 making it nearly impossible to use the prescriptive approach for aluminum windows. The requirements can still be met by running the calculations – but it’s a pain and typically requires an energy consultant. I’m not sure if other jurisdictions around the area have adopted the 2009 energy code yet. Fiberglass, vinyl and wood windows are typically more energy efficient than aluminum and meet the ridiculous new energy code. We like the look, the price point, the function and the low maintenance of aluminum windows, subsequently we end up jumping through more hoops to get them approved.

Comment by buildllc

TS – yup, the cabinet package is the product of our new cabinet shop “Special Projects Division”. Cost effective, modern, custom cabinets. Stay tuned for an official launch on the blog.

Comment by buildllc

you guys have a custom cabinet shop?!?


Comment by mike

[…] Mid-Century Modern Remodel « BUILD BlogExisting light well upgraded with new roof and Milgard aluminum windows 2. Galvanized steel channel frame at chimney cap 3. New single-ply roof membrane over new rigid insulation 4. Existing brick stained deep caviar … […]

Pingback by Mid-Century Modern Remodel « BUILD Blog

Nice post, and nice new website!

Much better than the previous rendition and much more intune with the work you produce. One problem, I couldn’t seem to download any of the PDFs under “Info”, not sure if this is a problem on my end or yours but would like to know if anyone else is experiencing the same problem.

Comment by Ryan

Ryan – thanks, glad you like the new site. We still have some fine tuning to do before the official launch but we’re almost there. You should be able to open each .PDF file and then “save page as” under File. Let us know if this doesn’t work as the intention is to get this literature out there in the world.

Comment by buildllc

Build – when I click on the link a separate window opens quickly and then closes and the option to open or save the PDF file does not appear. I tried other sites with a similar set up and it seems to work fine.

Comment by Ryan

Great post. I’m always looking for information about Seattle’s modern homes/design. Check out the post I made on Sell Modern. Let us know if we can link up and share content. Thanks again for your post.

Comment by Kevin

[…] The BUILDblog technical post on the Patrick Residence can be found here. […]

Pingback by Cabinet Details « Special Projects Division

[…] The BUILDblog technical post on the Patrick Residence can be found here. […]

Pingback by Cabinetry « Special Projects Division

Was the estimated $150 per sf cost based on the additional square footage or the total square footage of existing plus new? Thanks!

Comment by lealotus

lealotus – the remodel stayed within the existing shell – so there wasn’t any new square footage. The $150/sf is based on the total square footage.

Comment by buildllc

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